The internet is currently unpoliced says The Guardian. And the nearest it has to a governing body is the Internet Governance Forum of stakeholders which they describe as more like a parliament than an executive. The article describes how the IGF is made up, gives its background and notes there are “[m]any countries, particularly developing nations, were unhappy that the US had so much online clout. They saw Icann, originally set up as an offshoot from the US Department of Commerce, as a tool of western colonialism. They wanted to see it administered by the United Nations in a top-down fashion.”
The article gives a British perspective, naturally, and interviews Nominet’s Emily Taylor who “believes that the IGF is already having an effect on Icann, and the other bodies involved in the governance of the internet. They are becoming more global, and are using the IGF to get a wider participation in their own processes.”
Then The Guardian says “[n]ot everybody agrees with the IGF approach. The US government did send a delegation to Rio, but takes a hands-off free-market attitude to the internet. Its only concern is the infrastructure: to get broadband to as many people as possible.”
To read this article in full in The Guardian, see www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2008/may/29/internet.politics.